William J. Bernstein, “The Birth of Plenty : How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created”
McGraw-Hill | 2004 | ISBN: 0071421920 | 350 pages | PDF | 3,5 MB
With the advent of computers, we tend to think that technology is changing at a more rapid pace than ever. Bernstein, a noted financial expert, reminds us that the invention of the locomotive and the telegraph prior to 1850 had a much greater impact on the lives and well-being of the people of that era. According to his analysis, there was little change in the world's standard of living from the dawn of recorded history all the way to 1820, with technological progress moving in reverse as often as forward. In a very solid review of economic history, Bernstein examines the four factors that fell into place to create a formula for human progress: property rights, scientific rationalism, capital markets, and transportation and communication. From the rise of common law to the invention of the steam engine, from the creation of currencies to shipbuilding, this is an in-depth history of the rise of prosperity. It is topical, as well, examining the impact of economic progress on "happiness," trends in income inequality, and the opposing views of the Christian and Muslim mindsets.
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